WARRENVILLE, Ill. — International has announced its new 2007 Class 8 tractor will be called the ProStar. It’s a departure from the company’s recent trend towards numerical nomenclature such as the Series 4100, 7700 and 9900.
Company officials announced the new name during a recent conference call with the media and explained some of the reasoning behind the name.
“The ‘Pro’ represents a product that was designed and built by professionals for professionals,” explained Tom Baughman, vice-president and general manager of International’s Heavy Vehicle Center. “The ‘Star’ aligns the product to our parent company, Navistar while allowing us to maintain our brand identity.” Dee Kapur, president of the International Truck Group added the name “reflects our understanding of our customer needs and evokes the heritage, pride and Americana that is our brand.”
International’s Heavy Dealer Advisory Board was involved in developing the new truck as well as its name and Rocky Zinser, co-chair of the board said it helped steer the company away from giving the truck a numerical name.
“From the dealer perspective, we felt it didn’t do justice to this new product that we helped co-develop,” said Zinser. “We felt we needed something that totally showed the new truck itself. We wanted to come up with a whole new name, and to International’s credit, they listened to the dealers and we collaborated and came up with ProStar.”
While company officials aren’t yet divulging many details about the new Class 8 tractor, they have hinted it will incorporate a wide variety of enhancements. The company has invested more than $300 million in the new tractor, which will officially debut at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March.
Jodi Presswood, ProStar program manager, said the $300 million investment reflects the design of a new chassis and significant aerodynamic enhancements. He also said the new tractor will deliver a better ride, improved ergonomics, less noise and vibration and improved fuel economy.
“It’s a truck (a driver) can be proud of that also responds to the demands of the marketplace,” said Baughman.
He added there will be four series levels available ranging from a bottom end offering aimed at fleet applications and ranging up to a high-end tractor that will appeal to prestige-concious fleets and owner/operators.
The first shipments of the ProStar will begin in the first quarter of 2007, the company says. Initial production will be based on 122″ BBC tractors with a high-rise sleeper configuration.
That phase will be followed by the introduction of additional BBCs and sleeper configuration options. The truck will be built at Navistar’s Chatham, Ont. plant.
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